Border protection has been an issue in the United States for much longer than what most Americans would think. Citizens in today’s society seem to think of border protection has a job for the border patrol to catch illegal aliens and drugs being smuggled into this country. The truth is that border protection is much more than just catching the smuggling. Some seem to forget much about our history of trade and imports. Where is this nation heading with our borders. Is building walls the answer or are there other means to protect over 100,000 miles of border the United States has?
The Tariff Act of 1789 was the first major act of congress involving imports and exports into the United States. Signed on July 4th, 1789 by President George Washington, the Tariff Act gave the authority to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imports and excises” and to “regulate commerce with foreign nations” (www.enotes.com, 2006). Not more than just four weeks later, on July 31, 1789, another major act of congress was put into place which established the United States Customs Service. For the next 100 years, the US Customs Service was the main source of income for the United States and is the source of funds for many territorial purchases such as Louisiana, Oregon and more. It was also the source of income to build such things like the U.S. Military and Naval Academies, lighthouses and Washington D.C. The US Customs Services was under the US Treasury Department up until the signing of Homeland Security Act signed by President Bush shortly after the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. The Homeland Security Act was signed in 2002 and created the Department of Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Act has been quoted by many as the largest federal government reform in 55 years. On March 1, 2003, the US Border Protection
Custom Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Border Patrol all came together to form the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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